The only interior decorating book my Mum had when I was growing up was “The Seasonal Home” by Kristin Perers. I think she received it for a birthday one year, but it wasn’t long before I shuffled it into my own book shelf, referring to its pages even now, some 25 years later!
The author offers a really rustic and romantic set of decoration ideas around transforming our homes in reaction to the changing seasons. She demonstrates this with achingly perfect examples involving changeable loose covers on sofa’s and glowing open fires with artfully crumbling plaster surrounds.
I mean, it’s STUNNING but, alas, we don’t live in Italy.
Aside from some of the unattainable inspiration the book offers, the actual concept of having a reshuffle and rotation of my homely contents for each season is actually very appealing.
As Kristin states:
“Let what’s going on outside influence what’s going on inside”.
We all feel the itch for a Spring clean, but have you considered a deliberate “Autumn Nest”?
There’s no doubt that a level of this happens with little consideration! Coats and gumboots start fighting for space at the back door and log burners change from a great spot for a pot plant to the human, pet and clothes drying center of the universe.
Speaking from experience, as the resident of a charming and formerly freezing Christchurch villa, interior furnishings and positioning have both a physical and psychological warming effect. With this in mind I started pondering some more ideas to shift our spaces from static to seasonal, just like Mother Nature.
Just as we start reaching to the bottom drawer for our cosy jersey and favourite pair of jeans, perhaps we should allow our living areas to do the same!
Instead of having blankets and throws out on your sofa all year round, why not file them away until you really need them. Replace a light linen or cotton one with a thick woolly one for frosty nights.
It does its job and visually looks cosier because of its texture.
Have a dig around at your local second hand shop, those old checked woollen blankets are amazing quality and a great way to get cosy in an affordable fashion! They might just need a good wash!
Better yet, pop a sheepskin by your bed for a lush start to the day, or drape one over the back of your sofa to nestle into on frosty evenings.
As our way out of Winter is paved by the first bunch of bright yellow daffs on the table and the holidays are here when we bring home our first Christmas Lily, why not instill some year-round symbols of the season.
The Autumn months offer us big branches of golden leaves, rose hips and seed heads, all of which can be just as enticing to display as summer blooms. Over Winter have a go growing hyacinth bulbs on a bright sill using a special bulb vase. Its addictive to watch the process!
White linen duvet covers are a common choice, but why not slowly gather a range of bed linen options that reflect the feeling of each season. Keep your lights and brights for the summery months and swap out for deeper tones and pattern, plush velvet’s and chunky texture to layer for the cooler.
Let’s face it. A heavy winter bed is a good winter bed.
Take stock of how you use your rooms differently each season.
Space allowing, perhaps your sofa could move in front of that sliding door to capture the lower winter sun, then back again to make way for your summer foot traffic?
Maybe you can position your arm chair with more of a focus on the fire place this season, to turn its back on it for a sunnier view later in the year?
No fire place?
Cosiness and warmth can be achieved through lighting.
Look around for standard lamp options that could squeeze in by your sofa, or if you have space, a lamp on a side table of the room will give a welcome glow instead of living constantly with stark “overhead” lights.
None of these ideas need to be permanent and can be translated to fit any space you might live in.
All photos taken at home 2017-2019 by Julia Atkinson-Dunn for Studio Home and includes some mentions and links of our valued partners.
This article has been extended from the original one I wrote for Abode Magazine in 2018.